By Michael Vernon VossJune 24, 2019
Gen. Paul E. Funk II assumed command of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command from Gen. Stephen J. Townsend during a ceremony at Fort Eustis, June 21.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley, who hosted the ceremony, said it was a great but bittersweet day for TRADOC to bid farewell to Townsend and welcome Funk as its 17th commanding general.
However, the day was not about either of the generals, Milley continued, explaining that the focus was on celebrating the accomplishments of TRADOC.
"This day is not so much about Steve Townsend or Paul Funk," Milley said. "This day is really about the great work that Training and Doctrine Command does."
The 39th chief of staff of the Army explained that the motto "Victory Starts Here" is not just a motto, but that victory does in fact start at TRADOC.
TRADOC is the organization that accesses Soldiers coming from civil society, trains them as noncommissioned officers, senior noncommissioned officers, captains and so on, Milley said. From cradle to grave TRADOC takes care of not just the Army, but the joint force and our allies and partners.
Milley then shifted to Townsend's leadership of TRADOC during the past 15 months, and how he has helped accelerate Army initiatives like Multi-Domain Operations, the Army Combat Fitness Test and One Station Unit Training.
"Stephen Townsend has done an extraordinary job for the Army here at TRADOC," Milley said. "Under his leadership, this team has been instrumental to changing the culture and readiness of our Army."
Milley then thanked Townsend and his family for their contributions to the Army and the nation. The former TRADOC commander is moving into a new role as the next leader of U.S. Africa Command.
In welcoming the incoming commanding general, Milley said the command is very lucky to have Funk, "a man of great character."
Commissioned as an Armor Officer through ROTC upon graduation from Montana State University, Funk has led and commanded Soldiers at every echelon, from platoon to corps and combined joint task force. His most recent assignment was as commander, III Corps and Fort Hood.
"Paul Funk is an exceptional officer who has the skills, knowledge, attributes and character required to be the leader of this great organization," Milley said. "He is ready to hit the ground running, and I have no doubt that he is going to take TRADOC to the next level."
"What a great Army day," Funk said as he took the podium for his first remarks as TRADOC's commanding general.
"I would like to thank our Army senior leaders, who have placed their trust in me and allowed me the opportunity to lead TRADOC," he said. "To the leaders and Soldiers of this historic organization, Beth and I are honored to join this team. Like many of you, I am a product of TRADOC and I am committed to ensuring we continue to forge America's Army."